Ip Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)

  Ditulis pada Oct 19, 2010 // Artikel

IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) is an architectural framework for delivering Internet Protocol (IP) multimedia services. It was originally designed by the wireless standards body 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), as a part of the vision for evolving mobile networks beyond GSM. Its original formulation (3GPP R5) represented an approach to delivering “Internet services” over GPRS. This vision was later updated by 3GPP, 3GPP2 and TISPAN by requiring support of networks other than GPRS, such as Wireless LAN, CDMA2000 and fixed line.

To ease the integration with the Internet, IMS uses IETF protocols wherever possible, e.g. Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). According to the 3GPP, IMS is not intended to standardize applications but rather to aid the access of multimedia and voice applications from wireless and wireline terminals, i.e. create a form of fixed-mobile convergence (FMC). This is done by having a horizontal control layer that isolates the access network from the service layer. From a logical architecture perspective, services need not have their own control functions, as the control layer is a common horizontal layer. However in implementation this does not necessarily map into greater reduced cost and complexity.

Alternative and overlapping technologies for access and provisioning of services across wired and wireless networks include combinations of Generic Access Network, soft switches and “naked” SIP. It is easier to sell services than to sell the virtues of “integrated services”, but additionally the task to sell an IMS based on a single service is also difficult as there are often (cheaper) alternatives to creating and deploying that particular service.

Since it is becoming increasingly easier to access content and contacts using mechanisms outside the control of traditional wireless/fixed operators, the interest of IMS is being challenged.


  • IMS was originally defined by an industry forum called 3G.IP, formed in 1999. 3G.IP developed the initial IMS architecture, which was brought to the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), as part of their standardization work for 3G mobile phone systems in UMTS networks. It first appeared in Release 5 (evolution from 2G to 3G networks), when SIP-based multimedia was added. Support for the older GSM and GPRS networks was also provided.
  • 3GPP2 (a different organization from 3GPP) based their CDMA2000 Multimedia Domain (MMD) on 3GPP IMS, adding support for CDMA2000.
  • 3GPP release 6 added interworking with WLAN, Inter-operability between IMS using different IP-connectivity networks, routing group identities, multiple registration and forking, presence, speech recognition and speech-enabled services (Push to talk).
  • 3GPP release 7 added support for fixed networks, by working together with TISPAN release R1.1, the function of AGCF(Access Gateway control function) and PES (PSTN Emulation Service) are introduced to the wire-line network for the sake of inheritance of services which can be provided in PSTN network. Also added voice call continuity between circuit switching and packet switching domain (VCC), fixed broadband connection to the IMS, interworking with non-IMS networks, Policy and Charging Control (PCC), emergency sessions.
  • 3GPP release 8 added support for Long Term Evolution (LTE), System Architecture Evolution (SAE), Multimedia Session Continuity, Enhanced emergency sessions and IMS centralized services.


Each of the functions in the diagram is explained below.
The IP Multimedia Core Network Subsystem is a collection of different functions, linked by standardized interfaces, which grouped form one IMS administrative network. A function is not a node (hardware box): an implementer is free to combine 2 functions in 1 node, or to split a single function into 2 or more nodes. Each node can also be present multiple times in a single network, for dimensioning, load balancing or organizational issues.

Core network
Home subscriber server
The Home Subscriber Server (HSS), or User Profile Server Function (UPSF), is a master user database that supports the IMS network entities that actually handle calls. It contains the subscription-related information (subscriber profiles), performs authentication and authorization of the user, and can provide information about the subscriber’s location and IP information. It is similar to the GSM Home Location Register (HLR) and Authentication Centre (AuC).

A Subscriber Location Function (SLF) is needed to map user addresses when multiple HSSs are used.
Access network
The user can connect to an IMS network in various ways, most of which use the standard Internet Protocol (IP). IMS terminals (such as mobile phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and computers) can register directly on an IMS network, even when they are roaming in another network or country (the visited network). The only requirement is that they can use IP and run Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) user agents. Fixed access (e.g., Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), cable modems, Ethernet), mobile access (e.g. W-CDMA, CDMA2000, GSM, GPRS) and wireless access (e.g. WLAN, WiMAX) are all supported. Other phone systems like plain old telephone service (POTS—the old analogue telephones), H.323 and non IMS-compatible VoIP systems, are supported through gateways.

Read the rest of this at wikipedia

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